We tried Noom - the $199-a-year weight-loss app - for six weeks and this is our verdict
Noom has more than 45m users
But, with summer under way, I once-again set out on our yearly weight-loss plan - this time with the help of Noom.
While eating healthy foods, refraining from binging and exercising regularly does result in weight loss, it is easier said than done, as I always circle back to an eating plan of “treat yourself”.
However, Noom, a weight-loss app, claims to be different - by allowing users to “stop dieting” while promising life-long results.
The premise is simple - rather than omitting foods, Noom teaches its users the science behind why we overeat and how to overcome triggers such as social eating, stress and lack of sleep, which are frequently the reason behind our diet demise.
But as the self-proclaimed #NoomNerds point out, it is possible to break out of the cycle with a little information.
In addition to daily articles, Noom, one of the most-Googled nutrition apps in 2018, provides users with a food-tracking diary, broken into green foods, yellow foods, and red foods, recipes, a weight-loss tracker, a step counter, and a personal one-on-one health coach.
I started the program by taking a quiz that asked questions such as how active I am and how much weight I was looking to lose and how quickly. The app eventually told me I was temporarily allowed 1,270 calories a day.
Having started Noom the week of my 25th birthday, a week of cake, alcohol and lots of food did little to get us off on the right foot.
Fortunately, by the time I started week two, I was ready to focus - and read the four or so articles a day.
The short informative daily lessons are designed to give you easy-to-digest information about topics such as how to reduce stress and manage reactions to hormones, with one titled “hear all about hormones” explaining the need-to-know science behind endocrinology.
The tips are surprisingly helpful and I found they made me consider my weight-loss journey as something more complex than just a diet.
At the risk of sounding like a cliche, my focus turned from losing weight to wanting to actually change my lifestyle.
However, there were also days where I couldn’t be bothered to read through our daily checklist - even though in reality it only takes minutes.
When it comes to the personal “goal specialist” aspect of the app - if you’ve ever enlisted a friend to keep you from cheating on your diet, you’ll know how it feels to have a Noom coach.
They want to help - which made me feel guilty whenever I didn’t answer Kody right away, or when I received the following text message: “Hey there! It’s Kody K! I noticed you haven’t logged a meal, which you marked down as your danger zone.
“Time to get back on track… let’s do this!”
There were also some days I didn't hear from Kody at all.
Helpfully, Kody was able to rewind a week for me, after I realised I hadn’t been as diligent in completing the checklist of steps.
However, the Noom features I found most helpful were the pedometer, the reminder to weigh-in daily, and the food-tracker, which already had entries from many restaurants in New York City.
And, while the app encourages you to eat what you want in moderation, it also breaks the foods down into “Great choice - enjoy,” “Eat moderate portions,” and “Limit your portions”.
Although I didn’t try the recipes, as I try to avoid cooking, some options such as the grilled chicken with cucumber-watermelon salsa sounded appetising. I was slightly put off, however, by the large number of recipes for soups. Yawn.
Overall, I found that Noom really does take the guesswork out of dieting, offering me a personal cheerleader and education in psychology, nutrition and exercise all in one.
The best part? By the end of six weeks, I’d lost nine pounds.
According to one study of almost 36,000 Noom users, 77.9 per cent reported weight loss.
My only big criticism of Noom would be the price, which at $59-a-month or $199-a-year will be steep for some, especially considering there are cheaper food trackers available to download.
But if you are serious about losing weight and changing the way you think about your relationship with food, I believe it’s worth the money.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.